A beautiful lost classic of English countryside literature.
During the Second World War, John Stewart Collis left his comfortable academic life to work on the land for the war effort. Set in the south of England, his account comprises whatever happens to take his fancy, ranging from humorous sketches of the characters he works alongside, mini-essays such as “Contemplation upon Ants,” “Meditation while Singling Mangolds,” to celebrations of the earth worm, pea and potato. Exquisitely written, the book is an enchanting read.
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JOHN STEWART COLLIS was born in 1900. His father was a Dublin solicitor and Collis was educated at Rugby School and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1925 he published a biography of George Bernard Shaw and he later went on to write other biographical works and also became a pioneer of the ecological movement in Britain. During the Second World War his wife and daughters were evacuated to the United States and he worked for the Land Army as an agricultural labourer - accompanied by his beloved dog, Bindo. His memoirs and meditations on rural life, While Following the Plough (1946) and Down to Earth (1947) were first published together as The Worm Forgives the Plough in 1973, which has become a classic of nature writing.Review:
"He is the poet among modern ecologists, a natural philosopher who , whether he is writing about trees or rainbows, an iceberg or a piece of chalk, never takes a fact without linking it to an idea, or an idea without connecting it to a fact. His book dispenses information in the language of the imagination, and by peeling back the film by which everything appears dully familiar, reveals a vision of the world miraculously transfigured" -- Michael Holroyd The Times "Collis' divine gift is to explain the extraordinary nature of the ordinary" Sunday Times "A philosopher who had a shining view of the natural world, and was able to divine the magic inherent in phenomena so commonplace that we take them for granted" Guardian "These jottings establish the man as one of the greatest recorders of English agricultural life" -- Val Hennessey Daily Mail "A little classic" The Oldie
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Book Description Penguin Classic, 1988. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140106014